The month is flying by quickly again. And what did this month bring to my attention? The impact of stress on the body. When pain begins in the body, how easy it is to steel the body against life's stress. If life becomes holding one's self up against the strain of day to day living, a funny thing begins to happen. Our body becomes tighter and harder. As this process builds, the mind becomes angry and loses hope. Today we call this depression. Remember all the television ads selling the latest in medications to bring balance back into life. And if that doesn't work there is deep tissue massage or physical therapy or yoga or even meditation or prayer.
Of course, what came first, the overwhelming stress of a situation or the stiff neck? If the stress comes with your job which also defines who you are in the world, what do you do? If in these times of economic uncertainty, leaving that job may not be a solution for eliminating the stress from your life where do you turn? Do you recognize the symptoms of stress in your life? How do you sleep at night? What are your energy levels like? How does your body deal with the food that you consume? Is there loose stool or constipation? Does eating follow with a stomach ache? Is fatigue or headaches a normal state of being for you? And now let us talk about pain. Is it diffuse or concise?
Okay, let's also throw in actual illness. Can you can you begin to see how complicated figuring out what you pain is caused by. I want to know that I'm not dying. If I'm not dying how long will it take for the problem to go away? TV and the movies make everything look so simple. A solution can be found in the length of one hour or maybe a couple of episodes. But we are not simple one celled organisms. We come with pecking order around injuries that we have experienced throughout or lives. Injuries can also be hurt feelings of a broken heart or the anguish of being bullied. Self worth can also creep in to complicate or sense of well being. Another injury can be anger without resolve or chronic lingering fear.
All of these issues affect our breathing, which in turn affects our pain threshold. When tired a baby has very little tolerance of a changing schedule. Are we so different from that infant? So what level of control can we place in our lives to maintain balance? I turned to yoga and massage, which also includes self massage. Is there another way to look at things in your life so that you can be happier? Is there a place in your life for gratitude for simply being alive? Even if you are in pain, can you help another who may also be in pain? Can you laugh out loud at least once every day? Can you let go of the serious nature of your life for one moment and just be with yourself? Can you talk with someone?
Food for thought!
Once again I'm doing a free mini talk on When All Else Fails, a toolbox for self help. My focus is on understanding the impact of poor posture, weak muscle strength, poor use or using the body improperly. Thing things that you can do to undue the problems that have graced your life.
How are you sitting in that chair? Do you shift your body weight to one side sitting or when standing? How and when do you stretch your muscles? How much force do you use with or on your body? I can take more pressure but are you fighting back against the pressure? How stressful has your life become these days? Are you able to feel your muscles relax?
This week, I have meet several people in pain and under a great deal of stress. How quickly have you become used to more and more stress? That stress can come from family, friends,schooling, money,sensitivity to your environment and on and on list can grow. Do you compartmentalize your life? Anger, fear, anxiety, depression can all influence how you experience pain and even stiffness.
It's said that with age comes wisdom. It might be said that with age comes an inflated sense of importance. Of course with age comes the veil of forgetfulness of today and the enhanced memory of yesterday. Our personal bias's always color our view of the past and color how we see today.
And why am I even stating the above nonsense you might ask. Well, when I listen to the news and the greater disarray of America, my comment is that we live in such interesting times. Don't be afraid of the future. Look at it clearly and not with the colored lenses of the past. When I think about where healing the body has been in my short life, I am confounded by some of the many changes that have happened. We have been expecting science fiction to dole out the magic of the future.
Take this magic pill and you will be healed. But they failed to inform you about the effects of that magic pill. Stress is necessary to live, but if it engulfs your life it can kill you. Modern technology is supposed to save time but just guess how much time is actually wasted. Remember when humans were the only intelligent beings on this planet, well think again. We are not the only tool using beings floating around.
Let us destroy those organisms we think are harmful and then find out that without them something worse will come along. Surgery will cure your bum knee, but it can also kill you.Staph is everywhere and it does serve a purpose. Remember that pain does serve a purpose. It is understanding the code with which life communicates with us. What s the balance in your life? Or is your life feeling out of balance.
This weekend I took 2 workshops to learn the SilverSneakers Program. I don't do this type of exercise,just yoga. I've been told by some of my students that their doctors have told them that yoga isn't a cardiovascular exercise. I'm confused. I didn't get winded doing this exercise of marching,using weights and they wanted to make sure that I was sitting up and breathing? True I wasn't lifting 20lbs, but I know that I can do that. I did see a number of individuals who were much younger than me having difficulty with some of the exercises, especially around shoulders. All I practice is yoga. Some where in the description of yoga, proper yoga, the boat has been missed as to what is used to do this form of exercise.
When I see knees locked in extension, feet unable to be placed under hips and facing forward, arms that are so tight from improper use, I wonder how we got here.
Most of us no longer have to work in fields planting or harvesting crops. Many of us drive cars and don't walk for extended distances. And now we sit. We trust others to teach us how to lift weight, but no one tells us when we are over doing it.
And now here comes yoga: our next panacea. Why everyone is doing it! Yikes!